The 2004-2009 contract for the lease of Microsoft licenses was overpriced, says the Romanian Anti-corruption Agency

Newsroom 11/07/2014 | 16:49

The prosecutors of The National Anti-corruption Agency (DNA) have in sight three contracts for the lease of Microsoft licenses between 2001-2013, as well as a contract regarding the Integrated System for the Security of the State Frontier, signed between EADS and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The three contracts regarding the lease of IT licenses that the DNA has in sight are:

 

  • a contract for the lease of Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Subscriptions, signed between the Romanian government and Microsoft Ireland, via Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) Austria GesmbH, for USD 105 million carried out between 2004-2009
  • a contract for the lease of Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Subscriptions, signed between the Ministry of Communications and the D-CON.NET consortium, carried out between 2009-2013
  • a contract regarding the IT Educational System, signed between Siveco and the Ministry of Education for EUR 124 million

On September 17, 2003, the Romanian Ministry of Communications and Microsoft signed a strategic partnership agreement in which Microsoft was willing to offer the government special terms for acquiring its licenses. Later, Microsoft Romania and Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) signed a common offer.

On December 11, 203, government decision 1473 was issued, empowering the Government’s General Secretariat to sign the contract for the acquisition of Microsoft licenses. Microsoft and FSC sent an offer, valid until March 30, 2003, for the sum of USD 43.6 million.

However, in 2004, government decision 470 was issued, annulling the previous one, which stipulated the purchase of Microsoft licenses. The Government Secretariat was empowered to sign a license lease contract instead. This solution was deemed better because there was the possibility for FSC to finance this project. However, the financing was eventually ensured after the government signed a warranty letter and a promissory note. Thus, the 47 percent discount that Microsoft offered benefitted only FSC, said legal sources quoted by Mediafax.

The DNA prosecutors believe that, in the case of the Microsoft lease contract between 2004-2009, there are leads suggesting the value of the contract was higher than its real value and Microsoft had various local resellers that could have insured the lease in competitive conditions.

The signing of the contract between the government and the FSC was not advantageous to the Romanian state and it was possible due to the involvement of people from the executive, people from the management of Microsoft Romania as well as people who exercised influence on government members, said the same sources.
Otilia Haraga

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